Cingular accidently bills senior $31,000

Jan 29 2007 - 04:04 PM ET | Cingular, In The News

Cingular has been catching some bad press after it came out the company billed a senior citizen $31,000 for international calls that would have been impossible to make. Oliver DeSofi was shocked to see his monthly bill (normally $150) listed at $21,420. After calling to clarify, Mr. DeSofi was notified that more calls had been made and his outstanding balance now stood at over $31,000.

The bill detailed 4,500 calls made from Nicaragua, a rate of about 165 per day. DeSofi says he has never been to Nicaragua and hasn't even been out of the country for three years. Cingular's internal fraud investigation department took a look at the case and initially decided there was no fraud and the bill was legitimate. Many of the numbers called from Central America no longer exist and some were invalid entries such as 000-000-0000.

After being contacted by the Herald-Tribune Cingular gave DeSofi the "benefit of the doubt" and cleared his bill. DeSofi is relieved but is also planning on porting his number to another carrier.